Fighting crime starts with locked doors
PARRY SOUND - Bad habits have a way of making crime possible.
Little things like keeping valuables out of sight, destroying old financial correspondence and locking doors can be the difference between a good day and one where you're the victim of a crime. A new province-wide campaign by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police aims to raise public awareness on personal responsibility when it comes to preventing crime.
Ron Campbell, staff sergeant with the West Parry Sound OPP, said the habits that make the job of criminals easier are regularly on display within the community.
"Basically, crime occurs because you have an opportunity. If you take away the opportunity you take away the chances for them to get it. By locking a vehicle or house, you're helping eliminate the crime," said Campbell.
Police have released a 2013 Crime Prevention Book, available online, that highlights some simple tips on how individuals can better protect themselves. The book covers everything from preventing car theft to myths about home alarm systems.
One growing source of crime is online identity fraud. Identity thieves are able to acquire personal and credit information through fake internet promotions and seemingly legitimate requests for information.
"Crime costs us all, whether it's insurance fraud, identity theft, someone stealing something out of a vehicle or stealing a vehicle or a snowmobile that's unattended with the keys in. There's a cost to it. It costs us all increased insurance premiums, lost time and lack of piece of mind," Campbell said.
A few tips to increasing safety include avoiding suspicious emails and websites, keeping an eye on unusual activity in your neighborhood and keeping the PIN on debit cards confidential.
Campbell said the public plays a key role in preventing crime.
"There's all sorts of things people can do to help themselves - we can't do it alone. An officer can't be everywhere. We really need the public's assistance to prevent crime," said Campbell.
For more information on protecting yourself from crime, or to get an online copy of the 2013 Crime Prevention Book, visit the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police website at www.oacp.ca.